Feb

7

2013

The battle cry of the female blogger.

a place in the sun

This is not directed at any one person. This is something I feel I have to say on behalf of myself and possibly many other female bloggers out there.

It makes my freaking day when people email me or comment or come up to me in public and tell me that they like my blog or my videos or my writing for Hello Giggles. To know that there is someone else out there, across the vast and uncertain hollow space of Internet, to know that someone is reading, someone is taking the time out of their day to process words that I wrote or watch a video I made, means a lot to me.

As women bloggers though, we’re faced with certain issues that men aren’t; of this I’m sure. We’re judged harder on our content. Our photos, even just our profile photos on Facebook, are viewed at in terms of how hot we are, or aren’t. Please understand that I realize that not all men are like this. Not all men see women online as an amusing novelty. But the men who do are some of our biggest obstacles we have to deal with.

Just because we are women with a voice and an internet presence doesn’t mean that we are there for you to objectify, flirt with, or sexually harass. We’re writers. We’re creators. We’re reporters. We’re just trying to say something. We’re not posting something so that you can then comment with a suggestive remark. Our posts on dating, sex, relationhsips, or anything related, are not an invitation for you to hit on us or objectify us.

What is sexual harrassment online? I’m sure the definition is as broad and wide as can be. Perhaps my definition is stricter than most. To me, sexual harrassment is unwarrented comments that hint (or are outright blatant) about my appearance or sex life when they have nothing to do with the subject at hand. If I write, “Please judge this photo of me; tell me what you think of my face and my tits” then it would be silly of me to then turn around and say, “Why the hell did you just make a comment about my tits?” If I’m blogging about dating in LA and you comment, “Perhaps you haven’t found the right guy yet, hint hint winky face” that makes me uncomfortable. (And that was just an example I made up out of thin air.)

I respect my readers, which is why I’m posting this and not talking down to you. I welcome internet friends. I welcome people I can chat with and discuss events with. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have Twitter or Facebook. But I think that because my online presence is somewhat big and because I welcome interaction, this is misconstrued as an open invitation to flirt with me. It isn’t. So please treat me with respect. Don’t be rude. Don’t be condescending. It’s embarrassing for both of us. If you can’t do those things then go ahead and do them off of this blog, off of my Facebook page, and off of my Twitter feed.

Thanks for reading.

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Posted in: let's just talk from our hearts

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

D February 7, 2013 at 1:43 pm

This is typically a problem women have in the workplace, where a girl just wants to work but is constantly flirted with continually. Since your workspace is, essentially, the internet, I can see how this would be rampant over the social mediums you mentioned.

I would like to think most people are well-meaning and like to do the usual (to men) “you look so handsome in this photo” or (to women) “this is such a beautiful photo of you” as a means of encouragement without going into the suggestive/flirty territory (I know your post is describing things said to you that go beyond this, don’t get my wrong). Then again, men can be kind of clueless about the stance of womankind and how taxing it can be to feel like men appreciate your body more than your body of work. That said, it’s good you made a declaration like this to put up some boundaries since this is the internet and people can’t read social cues like they would in person.

The best recommendation I would have is to call out this behaviour when and where you see it via whatever medium he contacts you on. No guy is going to learn or be cognizant of his douchebaggery if he isn’t confronted, and then it’s up to him to decide if he wants to be a decent human and change his egregious behaviour.

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B February 7, 2013 at 5:06 pm

“This is typically a problem women have in the workplace…” Well meaning, indeed. Women, on their own, do not HAVE this problem. Men cause it.

“Men can be kind of clueless about the stance of womankind…” Again, this is the type of phrasing that implies that it is a woman’s stance that causes this.

“…this is the Internet and people can’t read social cues like they would in person.” Men should not need a social cue to use, “Wow you’re so hot,” as an opening line on someone they don’t know and have never met.

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Sugar Shane February 7, 2013 at 7:03 pm

So I gather neither of you fine ladies shave your legs, or your armpits, have ever dieted, or wear makeup then? So funny how deeply you can be into a system to not even realize that you in fact perpetuate and encourage it with your behavior. Unless someone is being explicitly obscene or intentionally cruel, demeaning or hurtful, you kind of have to accept the fact that if you are in the public eye, and make your work public and available to anyone, some people are going to express opinions or ideas that are going to be hurtful and or offensive, and sometimes it will be intentional. Our culture celebrates sex and appearance for good or bad. Female athletes have the same problem, they can be badasses in their sport, but we comment on how they looked or what they were wearing or how short their shorts were. I’m almost done with my second degree and 90% of the information and history they teach still revolves around men. There are studies to suggest that 70% of men misinterpret friendliness from a female as sexual interest. Saying don’t flirt with me is like saying, you’re not trying hard enough to impress me, or will just come off to most males as “she’s stuck up or a lesbian.” You are much better off just deleting comments or people that offend you but I always somehow imagined writers being passionate about free speech, but I’m just a hopeless romantic that way. Why are attractive women (in general) always so offended when people find them attractive and cry “don’t objectify me and my push-up bra?”

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Almie Rose February 7, 2013 at 7:29 pm

What? I am so confused by this comment. Is this directed towards me?

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B February 7, 2013 at 7:55 pm

I don’t know, but I guess there must be two of you, since I’m not a lady.

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Almie Rose February 7, 2013 at 8:16 pm

This Sugar person responded to D’s comment but it doesn’t sound like a response to anything D said. I’m terribly confused. And D is a man.

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Sugar Shane February 8, 2013 at 12:53 pm

My response is to the article and female commentators. I think you are being overly sensitive. You don’t want people to comment on your appearance but make posts about dieting. Your profile pic on here looks nothing like you, it looks photoshopped or like a senior pic. You are very concerned with appearances so to ask people not to judge or hit on you seems like a temper tantrum. Change your name from Apocalypstic to Almie “this is hard” Rose in honor of Ann Romney’s whining. Yes, you diet, wear make up, shave your body, and then say don’t judge my appearance, seems hypocritical.
“if what you want to say isn’t something you’d say to your sister”… Most people don’t want to get in their sisters pants there sicko.

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Simone February 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm

I don’t think Almie is being oversensitive at all Sugar Shane. I think she’s basically saying lets all respect each other & not be creepy.

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Simone February 8, 2013 at 3:22 pm

I don’t think Almie is being oversensitive at all Sugar Shane. I think she’s basically saying lets all respect each other & not be creepy. At least that’s what I got from this post.

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Shandra February 8, 2013 at 10:02 pm

So just because a woman does certain things to appear attractive both to herself and her peers it gives others the right to focus exclusively on her looks as a measure of her worth? No. That’s like saying if a woman doesn’t bind her boobs and wear baggy clothing she must be asking for sexual attention. A woman can want to look nice for herself or to look professional for work, and that has nothing to do with wanting someone to flirt with her. Both men and women try to conform to what society deems attractive and that does NOT mean that they must accept every sexual advance. This is especially true in a work environment, where it is very inappropriate. You are suggesting that simply because Almie cares about her appearance she either 1. is fishing for compliments and/or 2. deserves any comments that come her way, no matter what. I suggest you learn to treat all people with respect and treat women like whole humans rather than objects to be judged.

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Emily February 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm

PREACH

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Sugar Shane February 17, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I’ll start when society does. Take a cue from what the media portrays, and from the way females present themselves.”So just because a woman does certain things to appear attractive both to herself and her peers it gives others the right to focus exclusively on her looks as a measure of her worth? No. ” Yes, actually it does. When you make your appearance the first thing people notice, you are in fact inviting criticism, if you don’t like it, wear a hajib. You are dufining yourself with your appearance. You need to ask yourself WHY a woman does these things and WHY it’s considered “attractive.” It’s “attractive” based on it’s sexual appeal, and women do it not to “feel good about themselves” but to be considered sexually appealing.

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Shandra February 18, 2013 at 9:19 pm

I’d love to know how you live your life. No showers? Never get your hair cut? No matter what, unless you are meeting a blind person, someone is going to notice your appearance first. Even if you are wearing a “hajib” (the correct spelling in hijab, but I think you actually meant burqa, as a hijab is only meant to cover the top of the head and the hair) people will notice that about you. If you aren’t a troll and you honestly think that if a woman isn’t wearing a burqa she wants sexual attention from everyone and must accept that attention, you need to ask yourself why you’re such a jerk.

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A Lady February 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Pursuing an aesthetic that concurs with a mainstream definition of femininity is by NO means an invitation for anyone, male or female, to objectify and/or make demeaning comments to anyone. Doing so embarrasses you, and when the people who do so are predominantly men, it’s an embarrassment to the gender. Go fuck yourself, you shallow, rancid sack of shit. I’m beyond tired of men like you invoking bullshit self-righteous crap, about a system you yourself perpetuate, to try to justify being a rude, foul, asshole. This is the same argument used to justify rape when someone says a woman’s skirt was so short she was “asking for it.” Fuck you. Fuck you into next Tuesday with your medieval concepts of patriarchal entitlement, you stupid git.

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Sugar Shane February 17, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Most of the “Ladies” I know don’t curse like sailors. Thanks for proving my point and “manning up.” Women objectify themselves you stupid twat, so if I want to point out that they have a fat ass or have nice tits, I will. You sound like a fat ugly crabby bitch that no man has ever paid attention to. I think you need to get laid. That’s right, your bitterness and self righteousness could be cured by a big fat dick up your hoo ha. I didn’t make any shallow or demeaning comments, you did that. So you go fuck yourself, with a big fat splintery baseball bat, with no lube. Fuck you right in your ear with your stupid bitch radical feminism that think men are the problem because your a fat ugly bitch that no man wants.

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Almie Rose February 17, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Okay, thank you Patrick Bateman. You’ve made your viewpoints very clear. Please stop commenting now.

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D to the G February 25, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Dude, why are you so angry and hostile toward women? And why are you so heavily invested in feeling “right” to the point that you will act so “wrong”. I can’t imagine what caused all the hurt in your life that has led you to want to hurt others, but I hope you eventually find peace, and learn to treat women peacefully.

Until then, Almie seems to be a loving, radiant and special soul.
The darkness you currently dwell in has no place in her world.

Hopefully, one day, with the benefit of time and understanding, you will look back at your comments with great shame and sadness.

Life is short. Women are beautiful. Strive to be a good man.

— Another man.

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Gene February 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Actually, I think you’ve wandered into the Cult of the Celebrity there… I always think actors, both male and female, score a lot of inappropriate comments. Also reminding me of the way pop stars are often encouraged to appear publicly single, so fans can fantasise of a Meet-greet-fall-in-love scenario. I follow both Zooey Deschanel & Ian Somerhalder on facebook, partly because I love the links to features Zooey offers, and Ian partly because of his charity work- and yet even when they post serious, thought-provoking (sometimes even slightly depressing) things, there’s still a whole heap of weeiirrrdd, over-the-top flirtatious comments that would wig me out! So, um welcome to the dubious wonder of fame, where people feel JUST FINE about making overly personal comments/judgements and sexual suggestions to you without qualm??

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Almie Rose February 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm

Damn, that’s interesting.

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Almie Rose February 7, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Why am I surprised that a blog post that says, “Treat me with respect” is met with something other than, “You’re right, I will”? And yet here we are.

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B February 7, 2013 at 8:11 pm

But you just don’t understand how it’s your fault. /sarcasm

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a girl February 16, 2013 at 7:32 am

i find the little “my blog is a slut, it likes to be passed around” thing super offensive and disrespectful. the idea that a woman who likes sex inherently wants to be “passed around” (making the “slut” into an object that things happen to, not a person who chooses to do things) is pretty gross. maybe just some food for thought.

p.s. all of your sidebar links give 404 errors

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Almie Rose February 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm

THANK YOU for the 404 head’s up!

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Jessie February 8, 2013 at 3:04 am

I’m sorry that you’ve experienced this, and maybe this is a harsh reminder of how far we’ve still yet to go to gain equal respect, which makes me really sad. I’m busy trying to create an online presence for myself so am nowhere near as big ad you are and I’ve already been told to tone down the sarcasm/cynicism because its not suitable for a female blogger.

In other news though I’m a big fan of your work and really enjoy reading the variety of suff that you produce, carry on being awesome!

Xoxo

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Almie Rose February 8, 2013 at 11:11 am

“I’ve already been told to tone down the sarcasm/cynicism because its not suitable for a female blogger.”

ARE. YOU. SERIOUS???? Oh my God. Wow.

Thank you.

WOW I AM SO ANGRY FOR YOU.

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Jessie February 9, 2013 at 10:46 am

serious. needless to say that I quickly stopped writing for that particular publication!

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Tony Archer February 8, 2013 at 3:05 am

Let me just say this, I am friends with Apocalypstick. We call eachother when we are stressed or just too drunk to deal with life, like ACTUAL FRIENDS DO.But we did not start out this way. Like A LOT (yes,A LOT) of you, she initially thought that my friendliness was kind of creepy until I made my intentions(like the fact that I am practically married to the most amazing girl ever and just wanted to be friends with her) ABSOLUTELY CLEAR to her.
She is an AMAZING friend to have. Give me a thousand people to choose from and she will ALWAYS be in the top ten people I want in my corner because of what an amazing person she is. If you want to be her friend, I recommend it highly! But how you make it happen is:
1) If she says she’s going out to do karaoke at a certain bar at a certain time and you live ACROSS THE FUCKING COUNTRY, don’t say you’ll see her there. It’s weird.
2)If she talks about her parents, DON’T talk about how her parents would love you. It’s fucking weird.
3) Talk to her like a fucking person. I KNOW it sounds super weird, but believe me it WORKS. Make your intentions very clear and just be honest with her. If you think she’s amazing (SHE IS) and just want to be friends with her (not in the “Hey, your vagina seems quite cozy and I’d love to spend some time there” way but in the REAL way) just SAY SO. She’s an amazing person and would love new friends. But if you just think she’s hot and want to hit on her because you think you have a chance, SAY SO. I promise you she will be honest with you about your chances. NO, you’re not gonna wear her down. NO, she’s not going to change her mind. Roll the dice and take you chances.

But at the end of the day, if what you want to say isn’t something you’d say to your sister, don’t fucking say it. Just be respectful and honest in all your online actions.

And if you still decide to be a dick please know that I’m bigger than you and if you hurt her I will remove your kneecaps and use them as ashtrays because she’s one of the best people I know.

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Almie Rose February 8, 2013 at 11:07 am

Aww, dude! Thanks! Everything you said about me makes me very happy. Having guy friends is something I’m not too good with, so it means a lot to have your friendship, and not just AS A GUY, but as a person.

This: “But at the end of the day, if what you want to say isn’t something you’d say to your sister, don’t fucking say it. Just be respectful and honest in all your online actions.” Is a good guideline when talking to ANYONE. The internet is still “real life.” We are all real people.

Thank you!

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Dave Diamond February 8, 2013 at 4:04 am

There is no excuse for this, none. It sucks that you put yourself out there, share your talent with others and get taken advantage of. And “that’s just how it is” is such a common response but is totally unacceptable. I’m really sorry you have to deal with this kind of thing. I’m sorry for all women dealing with this in any aspect of life or work or whatever. It just sucks.

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Almie Rose February 8, 2013 at 11:08 am

Thanks Dave! And thanks for commenting and for totally getting it.

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Simone February 8, 2013 at 3:09 pm

I really feel you on this.

I’ve had a lot of sketchy things said and done around me because I write about sex and relationships. I’ve covered most of it here: http://skinnydip.ca/7-common-myths-about-sex-and-relationship-bloggers

At first when these things started happening I blamed myself, thinking I brought it on myself by writing openly about my sexuality. However, that’s bullshit. Just because I write about sex and dating, doesn’t give you carte blanche to sexually harass me or be inappropriate.

On the flip side, last year I had a guy comment on my blog saying “You’re obviously well-educated and good at what you do, yet you have photos of yourself lying seductively in a pile of shoes. Totally lame. You obviously have low self esteem and don’t value your own worth” – this actually stung more than the usual creepy “let’s have sex” comments.

Seriously, sometimes it feels like you can’t win. I try and ignore in & just keep working hard at what I do, in hopes that if I stay true to myself the right people will notice that I am actually good at what I do & that I don’t take myself too seriously.

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Gloria Stymie February 12, 2013 at 11:00 am

Here’s to a woman who does’t want to be perceived as a sexual object!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGA2wIpbSyI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0EfEM8Jke4

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Almie Rose June 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm

This is satire. it’s taking this very topic and exaggerating it for humor. I’m sorry you didn’t see it that way.

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GirlPower 2013 February 13, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Why would anyone want to sexually objectify Almie? She does it to herself already:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGA2wIpbSyI

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joanna February 21, 2013 at 4:14 pm

I think this problem applies to lots of women on the Internet. I don’t know why very strange men think that I made my Facebook profile because I wanted them to hit on me. I didn’t. Why do they assume that?

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Greg March 15, 2013 at 11:28 pm

I’d be terrified to write about my own dating life on the internet, so I’m impressed that you’re comfortable doing it. The bizarre trolling by S.S. above is further evidence of your point. There’s a substantial number of angry men out there, and I don’t really know what to do about it, beyond call them out.

Hey, S.S.? There’s something seriously wrong with you. Quit making the rest of our gender look bad.

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